Quentin Tarantino revealed new details about his next movie, The Movie Critic, during an interview with Deadline this week at the Carlton Hotel in Nice, France during the Cannes Film Festival. The two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter confirmed during the interview that the project will be about a movie critic from the 1970s.
Tarantino also noted that The Movie Critic won’t be about the late Pauline Kael, who wrote for The New Yorker from 1968 to 1991, as previous reports suggested. Instead, the film will be based on a man who wrote for a porno magazine.
Tarantino spoke to Deadline before he announced a special screening in Directors’ Fortnight of director John Flynn’s 1977 drama, Rolling Thunder, which starred William Devane. The event, which was held yesterday, was billed as as a ‘Rendezvous-vous with Quentin Tarantino.’ The Hateful Eight scribe-helmer dedicates an entire chapter to Flynn’s revenge thriller in his book, Cinema Speculation, which was released last year.
The Movie Critic, which will go into pre-pre production next month in Los Angeles, is also set in the same year that Rolling Thunder was released. The film will be set in California, and will be “based on a guy who really lived, but was never really famous, and he used to write movie reviews for a porno rag,” according to Tarantino.
The scribe-helmer didn’t reveal the journalist’s name. But when Deadline asked Tarantino if the critic was known, the filmmaker said the writer “wrote about mainstream movies and he was the second-string critic.”
Tarantino also mention that the titular movie critic was very funny and “wrote like he was 55 but he was only in his early to mid-30s.” The journalist later “died in his late thirties. It wasn’t clear for a while but now I’ve done some more research and I think it was it was complications due to alcoholism,” the filmmaker added.
The Django Unchained scribe-director also described the critic as being “very rude. He cursed…But his shit was really funny.”
Tarantino added that he thinks the journalist “was a very good critic. He was as cynical as hell. His reviews were a cross between early Howard Stern and what Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro’s character in Taxi Driver) might be if he were a film critic.” The BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter also choose not to delve into which magazine published the journalist’s work.
Tarantino also mentioned that no one has been cast yet in the project, and he he feels he’ll need to find a “new leading man” for the film. Several of the actors who he recently worked with, including Brad Pitt, who won an Oscar for his performance in the helmer’s last feature, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, are too old to play the titular character in The Movie Critic.
“I haven’t decided yet but it’s going to be somebody in the 35 year-old ball park,” the filmmaker shared. He added that he has “an idea of somebody I can imagine doing it really well,” but he’s unsure whether to give it to that person.
Tarantino first attended the Cannes Film Festival over three decades ago. His feature film writing and directorial debut, the neo-noir crime movie, Reservoir Dogs, played at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992 before it had a special screening later that year at the Cannes Film Festival. “It played at the Palais, it was like official selection outside of competition,” he recalled.
“They invented something for our screening that they’d never done before, they put an orange sticker in the ticket that said: This movie may be too violent for you to watch. And they’d never done that before and they ended up putting the same sticker on Pulp Fiction when it played here in 1994,” the helmer recalled.
It was first revealed that The Movie Critic would be Tarantino’s next project in March. It’s also expected to be his final film, as he previously said he would only direct 10 movies, and he counts Kill Bill Parts 1 and 2 as one feature. The upcoming feature will mark his 10th movie.